The French and Indian War was the American part of a global conflict between Great Britain and France known as the Seven Years' War. It broke out over a struggle between the French and British (and their Native allies) over control of the hotly contested Ohio River Valley. In America, the war was fought largely in Canada, and it was in fact the fall of French strongholds in Louisbourg (Nova Scotia) and Montreal (in Quebec) that brought the war to an end. The war had petered out in North America by 1761, but the Seven Years' War did not end in Europe until 1763. When it finally ended, the Treaty of Paris awarded all of Canada and all of North America east of the Mississippi (as well as Spanish Florida) to the British. France also ceded the Louisiana Territory to Spain.
The effects of the treaty, and the war itself, were monumental, and helped contribute to the outbreak of the American Revolution. First, the war removed the French from North America, which upset the delicate balance of power between various Indian peoples, especially the Iroquois. It also led to conflict between white settlers and Natives in the Ohio Valley, which caused the Crown to issue the Proclamation of 1763, banning settlement west of the Appalachians. This act infuriated many colonists, especially wealthy land speculators that lost the ability to secure title to lands in the region. More important, the war was very expensive, and the British attempted to finance the debt, as well as the price of maintaining troops on the American frontier, by imposing taxes which the colonies heavily resented. The first of these direct taxes, the Stamp Act, aroused violent protests up and down the colonies, and led to the imperial crisis that eventually sparked the American Revolution.